Hope everybody’s had a great start to the New Year! 2015, here we come! Most of us have our healthy-diet resolutions in full swing, so why am I sharing these rolls with you? Good question. Because they’re sooo good, and every diet needs balance!
So, yeah, that means sweets, including pecan rolls, have their place. And *these* pecan rolls have exactly 1/4 cup sugar in them. Yeah, you read that right! The only sugar is in the pecan topping. Talk about guilt free 😉
A few weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Sallys Baking Addiction and was one of the lucky winners to get her cookbook and a bag of chopped pecans! (The giveaway was sponsored by Diamond of California® Nuts) Can I just say this is one of the cutest cookbooks ever? Open up the cover and find a page full of sprinkles; flip another few pages and find the table of contents: from cakes to cookies and muffins to candy, this book covers every craving your sweet tooth will have!
When I found the pecan rolls recipe (“Grandma’s Sticky Pecan Rolls”) I knew I had to make it with the pecans from Diamond Nuts. It was just meant to be.
To make the pecan topping, all you need are chopped pecans, a little bit of butter, some sugar, and a dollop (isn’t that a fun word?) of molasses. The molasses I used this time came from a quaint little shop we visited when we were in Helen, GA: Nora Mill Granary.If you’re ever near there, you gotta check it out! They grind their own grains and are more than happy to show you around and get you acquainted with their mill. We loved it and can’t wait to go back! (My mom specifically loves their Pioneer’s Porridge; we’ll probably need to head back when she exhausts her big bag of it)
Back to these delicious rolls! The dough is a simple yeasted one, no fancy-shmancy ingredients. Just mix it all together and let it rest for a few minutes.
After the dough has rested, roll it out and fill with grated apples, pecans, and cinnamon.
Wait–stop! Don’t leave!
The grated apples replace the usual sugar-and-butter filling: they add sweetness and moister. The first time I made it that way, I had my doubts, I admit. But one bite converted me–it’s delicious AND healthy? Ah, yes, please!
Roll up the deliciousness into a tight log and cut into 10 pieces
Then place in the baking pan on top of the pecan topping.
Side note–in the above picture, I had completely forgotten about my pecan topping, so I ended up putting the rolls in. After realizing my mistake, I (tried to) carefully remove them, spread the pecan topping on the bottom of the pan, and then put the rolls back in the pan. Don’t make my mistake…
After baking, resist the urge to cut one out immediately; just let them cool slightly before giving into the urge
- Pecan Topping:
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 3 tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 2¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup milk
- 2½ tbsp butter
- 1 egg
- 4 apples, peeled and grated
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- To make the pecan topping...Mix together the butter, sugar and molasses. Add in the pecan, mix thoroughly, and spread on the bottom of a lightly greased baking pan.
- To make the dough...Combine the 2¼ cups flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Pour the water and milk in a small pan and add in the butter. Heat on medium low, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the mixture is homogeneous.
- Add the butter mixture to the flour and stir a little. Then add the egg and stir until a soft dough is formed (an additional ½ cup of flour may be needed if the dough is too wet).
- Knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the bowl it was in previously before placing the dough back inside and letting it rest for 10 minutes.
- To fill the rolls...After the dough has rested for 10 minutes, roll it on a lightly floured surface into a rough rectangle about 14 x 8 in.
- Spread the grated apples evenly in the filling, leaving about a 1 inch border from the edges. Sprinkle on top the pecans and cinnamon before tightly rolling the dough along the long edge. Cut into 10 pieces (each will be roughly 1½ in wide) and place on top of the pecans in the baking pan.
- Place in a warm oven* for 15 minutes or so (until the rolls have doubled in size).
- Heat the oven to 375F and bake until the rolls are lightly browned (25-30 min). Rotate the pan after 15 minutes and loosely cover with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.
- Remove from the oven and slightly cool before serving.
*I preheated my oven to around 200F, turned it off, and then placed the rolls inside.
Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's cookbook's "Grandma's Sticky Pecan Rolls"
This post was not sponsored by Diamond of California® Nuts, SallysBakingAddiction ,or Nora Mill Granary. All thoughts and opinions are my own.